Wednesday, April 30, 2014

JAM-PACKED with Jason Whitlock, Matt Yoder, and Hunt Palmer!

Player of the Day: LSU Baseball's Jake Fraley and Connor Haley.

Goin' Crazy: Do I agree with what the commissioner did? Absolutely, but now Sterling is going to sell his company for $8M.
Fletch: If they said they were going to make them an expansion franchise, they'll be able to draft and every NBA team can afford more players. If they did that, it would certainly drive the value down.

Bama Doug: What disturbs me about this whole thing is the timing. It sounds to me like a woman's scorn, you know you never heard of hell hath no fury?
Fletch: It seems like which came first, chicken or egg? Lawsuit or recordings?
Bama Doug: Yeah and don't kid yourself man, you know Sterling has a team of lawyers running around preparing a case. This is nothing new, this guy has a history.

Fletch: I thought it was an odd phrase that Mike Greenberg used on ESPN...he said "What Donald Sterling has done is like a guy driving a golf cart on the green at a country club and gets kicked out." The Clippers rallied and the fans have been strong. What's been lost in all of this is how much really good professional basketball has been going on. Nothing beats Grizzlies vs. Thunder.

Brad: If this guy has a history of doing this, I just don't understand how it could be swept under the rug.
Fletch: Well if you recall the Hornets trying to trade Chris Paul to the Lakers and get Pau Gasol and a couple other players but David Stern blocked that from happening. New Orleans got less in value in return when Stern orchestrated Chris Paul going to the Clippers.
Brad: On a side note, it doesn't look like the 5A teams in baseball are going very far in the playoffs.
Fletch: Everyone's teams are so young. Shreve's is young, Byrd's is extremely young.

If the Grizz eliminates the Thunder Thursday, and the Spurs end up winning, the only great thing to come out of it would be if the Clippers won and got to play them. Someone tweeted earlier saying that if that happens, the Clippers could be America's team.'s Matt Yoder. 

Yoder: I'm reminded of the great Simpson's quote: "The internet? They have that on computers now?"

Yoder: This is the least surprising news to wake up to. He has history of doing this, it's documented. For whatever reason, this caught on like wildfire. You've got this kind of activist mentality saying "We've got to do something" and Johnny Jones really gives it in passion and perspective on what this Sterling stuff has done. The biggest takeaway from me is that it takes a recording with your mistress of an argument about Instagram to get attention about this.
Fletch: And it was from September.
Yoder: He knew he was being recording. Not only is he NOT a good person, he's dumb. It's amazing this blew up in the way that it did. I've been trying to wrap my mind around it, maybe it's the secret audio tape. Maybe it's a sexier story than a housing lawsuit story. What frustrates a lot of people and rightfully so is that the NBA empowered Sterling for decades, they turned a blind eye to what he was doing but now you have the silver hammer of justice coming down when it was absent for so long.

One thing that's been discussed is what else can the NBA do? 
Yoder: I think they've reached the absolute maximum on what they can do. When you talk about devaluing the team and devaluing the players, it effects a lot more people than you realize. I think for the fans and the team personnel and the people working in the public relations office and the guys working the arena on game night, let's not put Sterling's actions on them.

Jason Whitlock on the air with us!

What has been the general reaction from the people that matter most to you?
Whitlock: The people that matter most to me have felt positive. But people like you have felt uncomfortable. I want people's thought to be provoked and I'm even uncomfortable with the things I found to be the truth.

If you were in Adam Silver's shoes what would have been the punishment?
Whitlock: I think he was forced into a position where had had to take action. Sterling's controversy had overshadowed a great playoff season and the players were so riled up and talking about not playing and taking things to the net level that he had to take some action. I don't know if I would have had a lifetime ban, I thought a 3-5 year ban which given to the state of his faculties and mental condition would have automatically been a lifetime ban. I think they want the team out of the Sterling family. Silver was put in a no-win situation but I'm uncomfortable with taking ANYONE's private thoughts and putting them out in the workplace. We like to think if we own a home or own an apartment we can be as ignorant or dumb as we want to. I don't want my private thoughts to become actions against me.
Ms. Gallore in this situation is V. Stiviano, this was recorded back in September and Sterling was aware of the recording. Does that alter your opinion or enhance it?
Whitlock: It enhances it in the fact that I think he's aware of the recording because of his mental state and she's recording it to say no Donald, this is was what you said. Again, he's an 80-year-old man who is losing his faculties. If I had a news station and got hold of this recording, I wouldn't publish it but someone else did and yes that enhances it. It still doesn't make it right to put it on the air.

If TMZ or Deadspin gets the full tape, would this have surfaced? 
Whitlock: Absolutely, if it hadn't, he would've received the NAACP Award again and get praised. People were willing to ignore his actions, but his impure thoughts, no. We're not going to ignore that.

Does Stern deserve a healthy dose of blame? 
Whitlock: I think he deserves a lot of blame. The deadpan tape that they released is crucial because Sterling talked about the culture that he feels is dictated and I think when he talks about that culture its his friend group and other NBA owners. Donald Sterling managed to be the longest tenure in the NBA owner and was somehow gifted Chris Paul from Stern.

We grew up perhaps in the prime of the NBA. You wrote about the mob mentality and to me there are two mobs at place here there's the billionaire white boys club that are NBA owners and then the young black man's mob who work for the NBA. 
Whitlock: I think there's a 3rd mob, the media mob that delighted and enjoys this. This is very ratings pleasing and I think the media mob has fanned the flame and I felt disgusted in mostly an unsophisticated way. Then I think there are the public in general joining the mob. I think that black people wanted Donald Sterling burned at the stake, I think white people wanted him burned at the stake because you look at him and think "I am a better person than him!".  Instead of all of asking how do we contribute to this behavior, we are just pointing at him and saying it's Sterling. Sterling is basically saying don't flaunt your relationships with black men, it embarrasses me. That conversation goes on amongst young people all of the time. That's part of the culture that he wants his girl to adhere to. I think we're all a part of this culture and all uncomfortable, holding a mirror up to ourselves.

Who benefits from this?
Whitlock: Adam Silver is the greatest winner in this. Now Adam Silver's popularity couldn't be any higher. Adam Silver, this decision was to kill the PR nightmare but it was also

Back with Matt Yoder:

Fletch: You know that these other owners have got to be sweating bullets. Donald Sterling more than likely knows some dirty secrets of the other owners. Do you think there are some owners that should be squirming?
Yoder: Not just the NBA but every professional sports franchise owner is squirming. I am sure there are owners, executives, etc. in all walks of life looking at this and thinking "I've got to go clean out the skeletons in my closet."
Fletch: If you see an NBA team go up for sale soon, you know they were trying to go quietly.

Yoder: What we saw after the Jerry Sandusky. ESPN was way behind that story. After it came out, ESPN came out with a deep investigation on sexual assault. It's this kind of situation where this mentality can really do some damage and backfire in a way because people can begin to look for stories that aren't there. Look at the bounty situation when ESPN came out with Mickey Loomis. They were just out there fishing for the next big story. I think that may be where the slippery slope is that Mark Cuban talks about.
Fletch: When's the last time the media were cautionary about chasing a story with meat on the bones?

Yoder: Up here in Ohio, I may not be able to sympathize with this. LSU would love to see the Saints take an LSU player. There have been nine LSU players drafted by the Saints. The two most successful draft picks have been WR's and two of the top WR's of all time are Martin and Henderson. ODB could maybe be the next hopeful.

Paul Mainieri looking at the scoreboard the other night, what was the thought in the press box?
Palmer: It was truly something no one expected. It's the nature of the game. Alcorn State is the worst team and they hit the ball better than anyone. It was one of those nights were everything LSU was doing wasn't working and Alcorn State was doing everything right and making unbelievable plays. It was really a pitching problem but when you can get those crooked numbers from the home runs...

Fraley seems like he gets it.
Palmer: Yeah, he's always had the tools. It's very Mikey Mahtook-ish. He came in with incredible talent but had a fall and just couldn't hit but then recently it clicked and he's back in the game. He's absolutely been a spark and he'll be in there every game right in the middle of the lineup.

It's a big weekend obviously. College baseball stresses wins on the road and losses at home. I think that if LSU takes two or three on the road with A&M, sweep Auburn, they aren't playing for a regional title, I think they're playing for a Top 8 seed. 
Palmer: I think that would put them right there int he conversation for sure. I think Florida, depending on how they end up doing, could take it but definitely LSU taking the west. I think the SEC will still get two national seeds with Florida being one of them and they will win the SEC.

LSU Football with Hunt Palmer:

Who will have a bigger impact as a freshman, Speedy Noil or Leonard Fournette?
Palmer: A&M has so many great receivers already over there. Leonard Fournette is going to get the ball at least 7-8 times a game and I think he impacts more.

Les mentioned the 29 practices being the determining factor for the QB battle. Right now, the last day of April, do you feel like this is a dead even race for QB?
Palmer: I think it's dead even right now because Anthony has the leg up in experience and time but Brandon has the leg up in talent. I think they'll both play in the opening game.

You brought up an interesting argument with Glenn Guilbeau's article. 
Palmer: It's insane for any person in the world to think LSU should play Florida every year. Glen mentioned LSU beat Florida and that's the only reason they got into the National Championship but also that Florida team lost 5 games. The SEC just wants to protect what it wants to protect.

I think this is setting up for down the road of expansion. I believe we're going to end up with 4 conferences of 16 teams each. Do you think there was a little hidden meaning in mandating the 8?
Palmer: Well, Sly is on his way out. Expansion is all overwhelmingly positive because it brings everyone money. I'm with you, I think expansion is coming again there's just too much money in college football for thing to remain the same.